A federal judge has ruled in favor of Enbridge Energy and the federal government in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club over a pipeline running through Michigan state forest land.
According to the Sierra Club, Enbridge ought to have been required to carry out a full environmental impact analysis for the pipeline in 2014 when it took out a new permit.
Judge Thomas Ludington dismissed the case on the basis that changes to pipeline activity are not within the Forest Service's jurisdiction.
"We clearly think they got it wrong," says Marvin Roberson, forest ecologist with the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club. "Everyone from Forest Service to us to Enbridge acknowledges that if this pipeline were to be built today, the analysis we’re asking for would need to be done. The Forest Service’s claim was that since it was built prior to any laws requiring such an analysis, they’re exempt from ever having to do that analysis."
The Sierra Club has 60 days to decide whether to appeal the decision.
In full disclosure, Enbridge Energy is a financial supporter of Michgian Radio.